Friday, 6 March 2009

Maggie O'Farrell, poet

I possess a copy of Tabla’s 1997 anthology, including poems from its 1996 competition. The winner was one Maggie O’Farrell, now renowned as a novelist.

My copy is now pretty battered, thanks in the main to O’Farrell’s poems. They’re visually explosive, musical and carry a strong narrative drive. Most of all, their voice is distinctive. I thought and think she could become a key figure in contemporary British poetry. Her novels are a great read, have been very successful and made her a fair deal of money, but I still hope we’ll hear more of Maggie O’Farrell as a poet, a genre in which I personally believe she already excelled over a decade ago. Does anyone know whether she’s kept her poetry up?


  1. I don't, but I think I could find out.

  2. Her remarks in interviews give the impression that she views her earlier poems as a good grounding for the later novels. It would be a loss for the genre if she's given up poetry.